Feb. 23, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas -- UT Arlington softball split the final day of the UTA Hilton Invitational, falling to Illinois 4-2 before rebounding to defeat UMKC 8-0 Sunday at Allan Saxe Field.
UT Arlington wrapped up the tournament with a 4-2 record and is 10-6 on the season.
"I think this group has really matured," UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox said. "Overall I think our bats finally came around. We competed and executed and our pitching staff really battled."
Illinois 4, UT Arlington 2
Freshman Brittany May made her first career start for the Mavericks. She dropped to 1-1 after giving up three runs off of seven hits against the Fighting Illini.
Illinois put runners on the corners with one out in the second on a double followed by a single, but UTA was able to escape the inning unharmed.
In the bottom of the second inning, freshman Mallory Foster scored on a wild pitch to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead.
Illinois' Ruby Rivera homered over the centerfield wall, hitting the scoreboard, tying the game at 1-1 with no outs in the top of the fifth inning. The Fighting Illini scored two more runs on a double and an infield error allows another run to cross the plate.
UT Arlington 8, UMKC 0 (6)
Jasmine Tanksley scored in the bottom of the first to get things started for the Mavericks. Tanksley scored again in the bottom of the third on a double from Rebecca Stokes. Nina Villanueva hit her second home run of the season, making it a 4-0 ball game through three innings.
Shannon Carrico made her first appearance of the day, coming in to pitch in the top of the fifth inning. Fox put in freshman Marisa Datko to pinch hit in the fifth. Datko hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Villanueva and the Mavericks ended the fifth up 5-0.
Freshman Shelbi Sikes hit her first career home run, a solo-shot to left-center, to give the Mavericks a 6-0 lead in the sixth. UMKC walked two batters allowing UTA to run-rule the Kangaroos 8-0 in six innings.
UT Arlington heads to Tucson, Ariz. for the Wildcat Invitational Feb. 28-March 3. The Mavericks face Longwood, Indiana, Arizona, Iowa and Valparaiso.